tv BBC World News PBS December 20, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PST
>> and now, "bbc world news." >> hello and welcome. i am in singapore. >> i am in london. the headlines. >> grief and uncertainty in north korea over the death of kim jong il. the world wonders what will happen next. violent clashes in egypt. the united states condemns the treatment of a fema protester. >> sectarian tensions rise in iraq as an arrest warrant is issued for the highest ranks in the official. the imf has received billions of dollars in the latest attempt to try to build of the eurozone. -- bail out the eurozone. >> it is noon in singapore. >> it is 4:00 a.m. in london. welcome to "newsday."
>> the united states, japan, and south korea are considering holding talks on the situation in north korea after the death of kim jong il. the chinese president went to the north korean embassy in beijing. china has been no. correa's closest ally, and a visit underlines that support. john simpson reports. >> this is the weird, reclusive figure who ran the world's most secretive country, and did it as though it was his own private playground. looking on was his son, kim jong un, who is around 28. no one knows for sure.
he will take over. the old leader died on saturday, but state television only announced it today. the news unleashed a storm of emotion, genuine or otherwise. in north korea, you have to mourn the leader as was light as possible, especially if the cameras are on. but if you are a member of the political elite, you may well be really sorry he is gone. no one knows what will happen to the nation now. as a result, kim jong-il leaves behind a country which is appallingly poor. this girl was filmed secretly while she was collecting grass to eat. there was nothing else. in an orphanage in the southern part of the country, children are being treated for malnutrition.
in the 1990's, 3 million people died of hunger. this is where the money which might have been spent on better living conditions actually goes, the world's fifth largest army, a million strong. with extraordinary recklessness, north koreans have shelled south korean territory. last year, they risked outright war by sinking a south korean naval ship. and even more worryingly, north korea has now developed a long- range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. so, will the death of kim jong- il change all this? >> we hope of course that it will be a turning point for north korea. we hope their new leadership will recognize that engagement with the international community offers the best prospect of improving the lives of the north
korean people. >> for 17 years, kim jong-il was leader of the last and most extreme of the world's dictatorships. he was distinctly odd. sometimes gentle, sometimes capable of threatening rages. he was going in russia. he was always destined to succeed his father, kim il-sung. when the soviet union collapsed, russia no longer prop up north korea financially. lifestyle was unchanged. >> it became a caricature of a dictator, someone with an iron rule, ruthless, responsible for the death of thousands, but with personal idiosyncrasies -- a love for expensive cognac, beautiful women, hollywood movies, bouffant hairdos, oversized sunglasses. >> for now, a pampered and
inexperienced 28-year-old controls the future of north korea. the theory is that kim jong un 's promotion could end in a nasty power struggle with the older military elite, this in a nuclear state which seems seriously out of control. john simpson, bbc news. >> our correspondent looks at the reaction in this north korean -- the south korean capital, seoul. >> international hot lines have been buzzing. foreign governments try to work out whether the death of kim jong il represents a threat or an opportunity. the government here in seoul is attempting to do just that, to work out where its strategic ñr. clear kim successor, his
youngest son, as we heard in that report. the worry is that because he is so untried and untested, that might give rise to the possibility of dangerous power struggles. the glimmer of optimism is it may also now leave room for reform-minded individuals in the north korean elite, if there are any left, to come forward. that is what governments will be looking at, trying to work out the shape of the future. >> for more on the impact of the death of kim jong-il, i am joined from beijing by a reporter from the beijing foreign studies university. thank you for joining us. in your view, what is the move of china? kim jong un has been installed as the successor of the country. >> i do not know much about what top leaders are thinking at this
moment. i think a general sense among chinese people, scholars, that this is a great opportunity for china to reassess its policy. that real assessment should bring about some adjustment, for example, the word a nuclear weapons program they have been developed a ring. china's policy of reunification between the north and south. i think there is a sense this presents a great opportunity to have a reassessment and to change our policy. >> but the big question is now whether the military leadership will indeed rally behind the young leader. kim jong il was an apprentice of his father, kim il-sung, for 70 years. kim jong un has only been an
apprentice of his father for more than a year. you think the military leadership in south korea will support him fully? >> you are right. at this moment, you look at the official obituary from the news station. you look at the letter of condolence sent by the chinese top leadership to p'yongyang. the message says, "under the leadership of kim jong un." the chinese government has already recognized his leadership. also of this moment, i do not think there could be any uncertainty about the loyalty of the military. but after this man is buried on december 28, when the official funeral is over, i think that is perhaps the beginning of a serious power struggle between the military and the young son there. >> how important is it that kim jong un, who has never visited
the mainland, visit china and meet the leaders of china? >> i think it is very important if he wants to have the support of china. i would say the only and the most important ally for the democratic republic of korea. he will probably pay a visit to china very soon, especially if he wants to win the power struggle within the political circle, and also in the struggle between himself and all the military generals in p'yongyang. in this situation, things can be very dangerous after the funeral on december 28. >> the beijing foreign studies university. thank you so much for your insight. footage of the violent suppression of protest in egypt has attracted international condemnation.
>> shocking and disgraceful are the words u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton used to describe the treatment of a theme of a protester in egypt. the incident happened during deadly clashes which have continued to rage for a fourth day. our reporter is in cairo. be warned the report contains some disturbing images. >> this is the shock which has outraged egyptians. a fully veiled woman being viciously beaten and virtually stripped by a gang of soldiers. the video is much worse. first they beat her, kicking her in the head. then they pull off her he job -- hijab, exposing her bare chest. then a vicious kick to the chest. it is hard to watch, especially in this deeply muslim country. the soldier advances, firing his gun directly into the crowd.
today, at the spot where the beating took place, one of the woman's friends. "the army is supposed to protect us, not kill us." there was another funeral in the square today, another young martyr to the revolution, cut down by a bullet on sunday night. back in the spring, many of these same people were hailing the egyptian military as heroes for helping to bring down the mubarak regime. after the violence of the past few days, the mood has completely changed. these people now accused the military of stealing the egyptian revolution. faced with terrible pictures from the weekend, the military today tried to justify its crackdown. "the military have constantly been restraining themselves against the provocation of the protesters. it is the military's job to protect public property from
attack, "though he says. some fear the military campaign is working. the population is turning against the protests. >> we do not want any more protests. especially those who are, i do not want to say it, but uneducated. people who listen to the egyptian media, without access to the internet, people who are not young, they will believe them. >> the hopes of january replaced by the bitterness of december. bbc news in cairo. >> iraq authorities have confirmed a warrant has been issued for the most senior sunni politician, the vice president, over alleged terrorist activities. he has been an outspoken critic of the shia prime minister. his political grouping, which took the most seats in the last parliamentary election, has announced it will boycott the
cabinet. a senior fellow at the council of foreign relations in washington gave his reaction. >> it is very worrisome. the most important of barack's various fault lines at the moment is between the sunni and shiite communities, which warned against each other, particularly in 2006 and 2007. the prime minister is threatening prosecution of a senior suny, which leads many cities to believe they could be next, but there could be a coming oppression. the u.s. presence in the country had until recently served as a stabilizing influence, persuading the sunni they would not be oppressed by the shiite majority. with that gone, the situation is considerably more dangerous. >> more than 120 people have been killed by government troops in syria today, according to
human-rights organizations. a report which cannot be verified by the bbc suggests more than half who died were army deserters, shot while trying to abandon their posts. syria agreed to allow arab league observers to monitor the protests, with a goal of ending the violence. >> the bbc, live from singapore and london. the search for bodies continues, following a devastating flash floods in the philippines. we will hear from someone who has been affected. >> in a race against time, the american man tried to visit as many as he can before the close. >> the man who buried his fiance alive in a cardboard box was found guilty of attempted murder. she was attacked with a taser and left for dead in a shallow grave in northern england. she used her engagement ring to help free herself.
this report contains flash photography. >> she was tasered and buried alive by the father of her child. today, her fiance was found guilty of trying to murder her because he was bored with their relationship. it was here, at the home she shared with their son jacob, where she was twice fund with a taser. she told the court the pain lasted for 10 minutes and felt like she had been kicked. also there that night was this man, patrick morris, her fiancee's friend. he helped carry her out of the house in a large cardboard box, up the steps, and out to a car. the 27-year-old was taken here, where both men dug a hole in the ground, covered the box in soil, and placed a branch on top. the court heard how she used her engagement ring to scratch away
at the tape around her legs. she then found a small oil -- a small hole. with soil falling on her face, she managed to tear the box apart. the jewelry was shown, the ring she used to save herself. and here is the cardboard box. you can see the tape left on it. she said trying to escape was exhausted. while she was inside, she prayed for help. the prosecution claimed what happened inside this house was well planned, because her boyfriend wants to start a new life with their child. today, he was found guilty of attempted murder. bbc news. >> this is "newsday." >> the headlines. world leaders have called for a peaceful transition of power in
north korea after the sudden death of leader kim jong-il. >> as violent clashes continued in egypt, the u.s. has condemned the treatment of a theme a protester. -- a female protester. the death toll in the philippines has risen to more than a thousand after a tropical storm. more bodies have been recovered by the ocean, but there are still many people missing. aid agencies are trying to provide food, water, and medicine. they are forced to bury most of their dead in a mass grave. joining me on the line is a resident of the beleaguered city, one of the locations hit by the flood in the philippines. thank you for joining us. it is a sad moment for you and the people of your area after the devastation it your city.
can you please describe to us how you felt when the typhoon and flood hit? >> good morning, everyone. what i feel right now is still paralysis. what ever happened here, for us, we still cannot believe. it is very -- very horrifying. this kind of tragedy has never happened. it is the first time. now, our heart is torn apart by the tragedy. the worst part happened when everybody was asleep. we had the heavy rains. we had huge wind. everybody just stayed at home, just to keep safe. we did not expect a huge amount of water would come from the highlands.
the worst part is the damage is not just water. it comes with mud. thick mud from the highlands. hello? >> it is very sad and devastating that this situation takes place less than a week before christmas. how are you and your family and relatives coping with this disaster? >> it is really hard. the local governments are doing their best. even the local residents. even the neighborhood of the cities are doing their best to help us. it is not enough, because of this huge catastrophe. as of of, we have around 283
dead bodies recovered already. 406 are still missing. with 57,000 people affected at the six evacuation centers. >> thank you so much for joining us. moving to other news, villagers protesting against last month's problems in southern private -- in southern china say they are bombarded with phone calls warning them not to march. the villagers are angry about the death in custody of a protester and the arrest of three others. they want a full investigation into what they say are years of illegal land grabs the of cost many local farmers their livelihood. around 30 demonstrators have been detained in belarus for taking part in protests on the first anniversary of the re- election of president look
yushchenko -- of the president. the u.s. and the eu issued a joint statement, calling for the release of all political prisoners in the country. a fire at a russian airport has brought down the roof of the terminal building and bad the damage to other facilities. fire crews managed to evacuate the airport. and there were no reports of injuries. the airport handles local flights, but is also the base for an emergency departments center. a possible cash boost for countries in the eurozone. >> a number of european countries have agreed to provide nearly $200 billion to the international monetary fund, which could help the eurocurrency. hunter versions are coming from germany, italy, and spain, which may soon be in need of help.
the united kingdom has refused to help. there is a question whether the imf has enough money to solve the problem. >> $200 billion looks like a figure plucked out of the air at the summit. it has come down to $150 billion. the economists say we need something in the order of $3 trillion -- of three trillion euros. at the same time, the cfs have -- the efsf and stability mechanism -- both of those looked as if they are having problems in terms of raising funding needed. today, there was another very downbeat assessment from the new head of the european central bank here in brussels, talking to the european parliament. he said in effect what everybody knows, that 2011 has been
miserable for the bureau, and 2012 could be worse. >> now to an institution which has been at the heart of american life for centuries. the u.s. postal service can trace its history to 1775. e-mail and social media have taken a chunk out of the business. as a result, thousands of post offices across america are facing closure. a native new yorker, a 25-year- old, is rushing to visit as many as he can. we caught up with him. >> when i graduated from university in 2008, i realized i have not explored the country, and i really wanted to see more of america, especially rural america. i grew up in a big city. i took it upon myself to take a road trip which ended up lasting three months, across 29 states. over time, i began to start
documenting interesting experiences by going into the post office and getting a postmark. may i have the honor? >> sure. >> there are so many favorite post offices i have been too, for different reasons. for architecture -- there are some depression era post offices which are so grand. there is a post office in the back of a bagel shop in a community called broad channel, new york. few people in the city even know about it, but it is fantastic. the guy who sells you bagels also operates the post office. the post office has been a vital part of the founding of communities, and their everyday life. if i cannot save them, i can at least preserve their history, both through the post marks a
game in person, the photographs i take, and perhaps inspiring other people to if not go around to hundreds of post offices, at least look at theirs with a little more appreciation. >> the mission to collect as many u.s. postmarks as he cared. before we go, argentina has been battling dollars and euros being taken out of the country by currency speculators. their solution includes specially trained dogs. it has been so successful, authorities have renewed the contract. around 300 dogs began working last june. since then, they have found over a million and a half dollars hidden in cars and luggage. >> you have been watching the bbc. i am in singapore. >> i am in london. thanks for joining us. all of the stories are on line at the bbc news website. seymour on the death of kim jong il.